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September 1, 2023 (NAIVASHA, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) yesterday concluded a regional workshop for the validation of the Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Resources Assessment reports in the IGAD Coastal Member Countries of Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan.

The purpose of the three-day workshop was to validate the draft regional and national reports by involving the stakeholders from Member States and IGAD, especially from the four IGAD Coastal countries (Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan).

The workshop was attended by representatives of the IGAD Member States’ environment ministries, the national focal points of the IGAD Blue Economy project, researchers and marine biodiversity experts, especially from Marine Protected Areas Offices.

At the opening session of the workshop on Day one, on behalf of the Director of the Agriculture and Environment Division, the Programme Manager for Sustainable Environment Management, Dr Eshete Dejene, said: “Biodiversity is key for the proper functioning of aquatic ecosystems and to maintain production and productivity in a sustainable manner”.

In his opening speech, James Thonjo, Senior Climate Change Officer at the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry of the Republic of Kenya, recalled that Kenya had already hosted the international Blue Economy Conference and the Global Oceans Conference, “which shows its commitment to champion Blue Economy in the continent. “It will be important to implement the results of this study to conserve our Blue Economy resources”, he added.

At the conclusion of the workshop, the regional and national marine biodiversity assessment reports were validated. Also, the establishment of an IGAD regional Marine biodiversity scientific platform was suggested while recommendations were provided on the regional and national reports.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development, with the financial support of the Government of Sweden through Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), is implementing a project titled Enhancing Blue Economy in the IGAD Member States for Biodiversity Conservations and Livelihood Diversification.

The IGAD Blue Economy (BE) Project Management Unit has recently commissioned a study on the Marine Biodiversity Situation Assessment for IGAD Coastal Countries (Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan). This study has been undertaken by employing competitive Lead Regional Consultant. One National Consultant was also employed by the Lead Regional Consultant for each of the four IGAD Coastal Countries to collect data and compile country reports. One IGAD region synthesis report and four national reports were produced in this study.

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